“There was a time when the world was enormous: spanning the vast, almost infinite boundaries of your neighborhood. The place where you grew up, where you didn’t think twice about playing on someone else’s lawn. The street was your territory that occasionally got invaded by a passing car. It was where you didn’t get called home until after it was dark. And all the people, and all the houses that surrounded you were as familiar as the things in your own room.” – The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years sums up my childhood in so many ways. We watched the show with our kids in the early 90s, but now I am seeing it once again with fresh eyes. I can hardly watch an episode without tearing up.
The place where I grew up was also one where we played on someone else’s lawn, in the street, in the woods. We knew most of the neighbors and I was babysitting for many of the younger kids by the time I was eleven. It was a time of Kick-the-Can under the street lights on summer nights, walking barefoot to the 7-11 on a street with no sidewalk and Trick-or-Treating without an adult, trading candy when we returned home.
We can’t go back except in memory, but we can go on. We can strive to make the years ahead “wonder” years for someone else.
FUN FACT: Winner Cooper and Becky Slater are sisters in real life
That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. (Juliet to Dawsey)
This book was the second one I’ve read recently that was set during and just after World War II. So, now my goal is to read two others I have at home already that are set in the same era.
Last month I read All the Light We Cannot See. So, when I was reading along in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (TGL&PPS), it was happily surprising to find Saint Malo mentioned. This was a large part of ATLWCS. The next book, which I’ll begin tonight or tomorrow is Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. This novel begins in Paris in 1940.
Even though these are fiction, they resonate with history and have drawn me in and left me feeling I have so much more to learn about events surrounding the second world war. Truly, I have even more to learn about all of history. The more I read the less educated I feel. But, hopefully, the more educated I’m becoming.
Today I learned about a town that has a population smaller than my kid’s high schools were. This town was purchasing something for the police department. I will change the name of the town, so let’s call it Puzzle, U.S.A.
In 2012, there were 1,297 people living in Puzzle which covers an area of 3.3 square miles. There are three gas stations, a bank, restaurant, a mini grocery store, and a police department. There is even a Beauty Barn. Would you get your hair done in a barn? Sorry, I digressed.
On the Fourth of July they have a “Miss Puzzle” pageant. I wonder if the contestants get their hair done at the barn? Oops, there I go again.
Most of the citizens commute to work, shop, and go to school. The crime rate is lower than the state where it is located and lower than the US average. The median income is lower, also, than the state’s and much lower than the country’s. So, what does all this mean? What can we learn about a “poor” community with a low crime rate?
I’ll just throw out this other fact for you to ponder. In this little town there are seven churches. Yes, seven. I don’t know anything more than the names of these churches. I don’t know how many of Puzzle’s citizens go to church. And, I know having a church on every corner can mean something or nothing. But I think somewhere in all this there is a connection. I see a road trip in my future.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.-Ecclesiastes 4:9
Today was a good day. Nothing extraordinary, really, except the joy I had on my drive home from work. I thought about how the LORD has blessed me with friends and I have not realized how many he has sent along my path.
My husband can attest to the fact that I’ve cried many a tear bemoaning my lack of a “best” friend. I could say he is my best friend, and he truly is, but I need someone to do girl stuff with. The fact that he understands this shows what a good friend he really is.
Those friends from middle school are unique. They are the ones you grow up with and make memories that last forever. I’ve drifted away from most of those, but a few years ago I reunited with one and we have been closer than ever. It’s like we fell right back into that closeness that all the years had not erased. Twice this year we have gone to funerals together. I told my friend that would make for a good comedic novel, “Friends Who Go to Funerals Together Stick Together” or some such title.
But, what got to me today was exercise. Five of us stayed after work and did a 25 minute non-stop exercise routine. It was the idea of our boss, who was huffing and puffing right along with us. She is pretty fit, so the rest of us were doing most of the huffing and puffing. It was the camaraderie that made it worthwhile. It’s been a long time since I worked somewhere where everyone gets along. It’s a stress-free environment, at least for me.
I seem to be rambling, but my point is God has provided me with more than a job. He’s given me enjoyable office mates; friends to spur me on now in my effort to get fit. He’s given me back my friend from middle school. He’s given me kind neighbors. He’s making me aware of community – and I’m learning to BE a friend.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.- Proverbs 27:17